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Everything You Should Know About Chronic Fatigue
Chronic fatigue or chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a disorder, which is normally characterized by extreme tiredness and which cannot be eliminated with rest. In the vast majority of cases, it has an underlying medical condition. There are different names for this type of disorder such as myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or systematic exertion intolerance disease (SEID). Due to the fact that there are many other conditions that produce similar symptoms, it is quite difficult to diagnose chronic fatigue syndrome. There are no tests available for CFS. Previously, this was a relatively controversial diagnosis. Nowadays, it is widely accepted as a medical condition.
Symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome
It is almost impossible to state the exact symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome as they highly depend on the person itself and the severity of the condition. However, the most common, well-known symptom is fatigue, which does not allow you to perform daily activities. For CFS to be diagnosed, fatigue should last for at least six months without any relief. It cannot be also fixed with bed rest. Patients may also experience extreme fatigue after mental or physical activities, which can last for more than 24 hours after the activity.
Chronic fatigue can also cause sleep problems such as chronic insomnia and feeling not fresh after a night’s sleep. Some people get exposed to loss of memory, reduced level of concentration and orthostatic intolerance. When it comes to physical symptoms, chronic fatigue can lead to continuous muscle pain, frequent sore throat and headaches in combination with multi-joint pain or swelling. Specialists claim that all the aforementioned symptoms might disappear for some time, which is normally referred to as remission. However, there is a high probability of these symptoms coming back. It is quite difficult to manage the symptoms during the cycle of remission and relapse.
Causes of CFS
As was already mentioned, the exact causes of chronic fatigue syndrome are still unknown. Some specialists say that contributing factors might include different types of viruses, stress, hormonal imbalances or weakened immune system. Other doctors state that it might be the case that some people are simply genetically predisposed to develop this type of disease. However, recent research on chronic fatigue syndrome has shown that viruses are less likely to encourage CFS. It also shows that this disease might be the end-stage of a number of different conditions, rather than one specific condition. Doctors also add that people with CFS have a weakened immune system but they also say that this is not enough to cause the disorder.
Risk factors for chronic fatigue syndrome
Multiple studies show that CFS is most common among people in their 40s and 50s. This type of syndrome is diagnosed two to four times more often in women than in men. Among other risk factors that might contribute to the development of CFS are allergies, genetic predisposition, stress and a number of environmental factors.
Treatment of CFS
There are no specific measures for chronic fatigue treatment. Every person might have different symptoms, which require different ways of treatment. If you encounter any of the symptoms mentioned earlier in this article, it is advised to consult chronic fatigue specialists, who will be able to manage the disorder and relieve the symptoms. Making some modifications to your lifestyle might also assist in relieving symptoms. It is a well-known fact that eliminating or decreasing caffeine intake will help you sleep better or ease insomnia. Doctors also advise avoiding daily naps if you notice that it has a negative effect on your ability to sleep at night.